Say Goodbye To Acne Scars Forever
Let’s face it, acne is the one skin concern that haunts all of us from its conception to even after it’s gone. Not only is acne painful and an eyesore, but many people who suffer from acne also suffer from acne scarring. What’s more, getting rid of acne scars can pose a real challenge. This is especially so if you have scars such as keloid scars, boxcar scars, pitted scars, or rolling scars. If you’re tired of getting acne scars, here are all the things you need to know about acne scarring so you can avoid and treat them.
Acne marks vs acne scars
Firstly, you need to know how to differentiate between acne scars and marks. Most people with acne marks are those with some form of hyperpigmentation. For those with darker skin tones, this hyperpigmentation is usually post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and is brown in color. For those with fairer skin tones, you are more likely to face post-inflammatory erythema and is reddish in color.
Acne scars, on the other hand, are physically deep imprints on your skin. Unfortunately, the only way to get rid of such depressed acne scars is through laser treatment. There are two types of acne scars, mainly atrophic scars, and hypertrophic scars. The former is more common as they are depressed scars that leave a deep imprint on your skin and look deeper rather than spread out. Hypertrophic scars are raised scars that actually look like thick bumps on your skin.
What causes acne scarring?
Dermatologists have revealed that we can get scarring not just from picking and popping your pimples, but also even when you don’t touch them! This is because certain types of acne weaken the skin tissue more than others which results in more severe, depressed scarring.
The most common type of acne that causes scarring
So, which form of acne is most likely to lead to acne scars? Well, most people develop acne scars due to cystic acne. Cystic acne is inflammatory, painful pimples that form deeper scars than most other types of acne. Acne scars from cystic acne form when more white blood cells and an increased amount of enzymes get transported to the surrounding skin of acne blemishes.
How does an acne scar form?
Your skin is unable to heal because the enzymes prevent collagen and elastin from generating. That’s why increasing your skin’s collagen production through collagen skin care is always essential for anyone.
How to prevent acne scarring from happening
You know what they say, prevention is better than cure. In the case of acne scars, it is definitely true as well! When you get a new pimple, New York dermatologist Dr. Jennifer MacGregor encourages you to head to a dermatologist’s office to deal with your pimples from the get-go. Instead of experimenting with various at-home acne scar treatments, it is much better to receive professional advice and prescription to treat severe acne and acne breakouts.
Not all pimple treatments work the same because we all have different skin types and as such, everyone’s skin heals differently. Furthermore, some pimple treatments may be too harsh for your skin, so let the dermatologist do the work for you. Otherwise, you may end up aggravating your acne inflammation which may result in more severe acne lesions. In turn, this will make it harder to treat your acne scars. You may read more about getting rid of pitted scars here, but again, your dermatologist is your best resource.
People suffering from cystic acne can get rid of acne in just a day or two with a cortisone injection. A cortisone injection is a type of steroid that will quickly eliminate the inflammation so you won’t be left with a mark or scar. However, this is a treatment that only professional dermatologists can perform, and you cannot do this yourself at home. In other words, all cystic acne removal procedures should be done with your doctor.
If you are unable to afford a dermatologist, then the next best solution would be to use spot treatments. Firstly, you can use pimple treatments like clay masks that dry up your pimple to force the pus to the surface of your skin. Next, you can also treat active breakouts with an anti-bacterial treatment like benzoyl peroxide. You can easily get these at the drugstores without burning a hole in your pocket. Even honey on the face does wonders – not only is it cheap, but it is also proven to speed the skin’s healing process!
But the mark’s still here!
Even when the pimple is treated and scarring is prevented, you can still have pesky stubborn acne scars. While freckles on the face look good for some, acne marks don’t look desirable on anyone. If you have brown hyperpigmentation, you would know that these seem to last forever on your skin. They usually last for six months, but there are ways to speed this process up.
How to get rid of a scarred pimple and treat acne scars
Chemical acne scar treatment
Dermatologist Dr. Bowe recommends trying acne treatment products that have AHAs or BHAs in them, like a chemical peel. AHAs are alpha hydroxy acids and they help to gently exfoliate the outer layer of the skin by removing dead skin cells. AHAs include glycolic, mandelic, and lactic acid. BHAs are beta hydroxy acids that penetrate below the skin’s surface help to prevent clogged pores by getting rid of dead skin cells and bacteria deeper within your skin. They include salicylic acid. These chemical exfoliants and chemical peels speed up the process of skin cell regeneration so your acne scars go away faster. They also help to smoothen your skin’s texture. There is more information here if you need further reading.
Retinoid is another powerful ingredient that is effective for treating acne scars, both for darker and fairer skin types. There are both retinoid treatments you can buy yourselves and topical retinoids that can only be used under prescription.
If you are looking for a good retinol product, try products that have the enzyme melanozyme for the evening out of skin tone. However, topical retinoids can be potentially harsh on your skin, especially if you are not experienced in chemical exfoliation or have sensitive skin. So, we recommend using such chemical treatments sparingly before building up your usage. For retinoid beginners, it is advised to use a lower percentage of retinoid and use it twice a week. Apart from AHAs, BHAs, and retiniods, hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, and lactic acid are also common chemicals used in acne scar treatment and prevention.
Natural acne scar treatment
If you are wary of chemical products and chemical peels, then you can also turn to natural homemade ingredients. Natural skincare ingredients can also help, such as soy and licorice. You can look for natural inflammation reducers as well to alleviate any further damage and irritation to your skin.
One important thing to avoid is brightening treatments that have hydroquinone in them. Excessive use of it can lead to a grey pigmentation on your skin instead which would look like sun spots. Hydroquinone should only be used if it is prescribed by your dermatologist.
Invasive acne treatment
If all else fails, there are always laser treatments like laser resurfacing. One such treatment is the Vbeam laser treatment. These are expensive but effective as the lasers directly aim at and reduce the blood vessels. Other types of medical treatments you may want to consider also include light therapy, skin needling, and getting soft tissue fillers. You may refer to this link for even more knowledge about the various type of acne treatment available.
Acne scarring prevention
Last but definitely not least, always use sunscreen. Many people do not understand that sunscreen is not just for anti-aging, but for the prevention of hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Dermatologists always recommend this, because the sun can actually cause or worsen your pigmentation, especially if you have sensitive skin or already suffer from some form of acne scarring.
Sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection helps to protect you against the UVA rays, and post inflammatory pigmentation is less likely to occur. If you wear sunscreen daily, even when you are indoors, then your problem with acne scarring may not even occur! Pair that with a lip serum for your lips and you’re on your way to becoming a better version of yourself.
No one likes having to deal with acne and scene scarring. But it’s a phenomenon that can last long after your teenage years have come and gone, so learning to deal with acne scarring is a must if you want to look your best. To prevent acne scars, or keep your scarring from worsening, simple steps like keeping up with your skin care routine go a long way.
Besides trying out medical treatments and chemical peels, we also recommend trying out alternative methods such as participating in face yoga, which helps to stimulate collagen production, and getting adequate sleep. We hope these tips help you to get rid of acne scars and achieve flawless skin!